During this week’s State of the Union address, US President Obama called for a system of wage insurance to alleviate the problem of job loss.

Not only should laid-off workers receive unemployment insurance, Obama said, but retraining for businesses ready to hire should be encouraged and there should also be a system of wage insurance in place so that workers can still pay their bills after reemployment if the new job doesn’t pay as much.

While it is unlikely the government entitlement described by President Obama will see the light of day anytime soon, if at all, some might be surprised to learn that wage insurance already exists — in the private sector.

"The President was reacting to a very real problem," says SterlingRisk President David A. Sterling, whose firm offers IncomeAssure, a product that fills the need for supplemental unemployment coverage.

"People who are unexpectedly laid off quickly discover that unemployment insurance alone is not enough to cover mortgage payments, tuition, or medical bills. Unfortunately, it’s unrealistic to think the federal government is going to pick up the slack. IncomeAssure is a proven way to maintain financial security after involuntary job loss."

IncomeAssure is supplemental unemployment insurance, available in the District of Columbia and all U.S. states except Alaska and Hawaii. IncomeAssure, combined with state unemployment benefits, provides up to 50% of former weekly salary when an individual is involuntarily unemployed.

SterlingRisk, a U.S. top 40, privately held insurance brokerage and services firm, is the managing general agent for IncomeAssure.